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Funkstown is headed south for state legion tournament

August 02, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

"Honey, that vacation will have to wait."

That might have been what coach Darryl Powell said to his wife Sunday after Funkstown Post 211 beat Frederick for the Western Maryland District American Legion baseball title and a berth in the state tournament, which begins today at Frank Perdue Stadium in Salisbury.

A state title would make Powell's trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., well worth the wait.

"We're supposed to leave (Salisbury) and go right down from there," Powell said. "Hopefully, our stay in Salisbury will be prolonged."

Postponed vacations are becoming commonplace for Powell. Funkstown is making its third straight appearance in the state tournament.

One reason is that the core of Powell's first state tournament team is still intact on his third state tournament team.

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"We have 14 guys back, and this whole group started to mesh together two years ago," Powell said. "Part of that was the fact we weren't expected to finish third in the district that year. It's like having 14 leaders out there on the field.

"I kind of like to have a team captain that picks the group up. That hasn't really transpired with this group because they all just want to play. I guess that's why they've been successful."

Powell said from the start of the season, this is where he and his team envisioned themselves - especially having been here each of the last two years.

"I told them, 'Guys, this is three years we've been here. It's time to win this and get to the regional,'" Powell said.

Lucky for Powell there's an off week between the state and regional tournaments. He'll get to take that vacation no matter what.

n Ryan Wingerd will get the start for Funkstown in today's game at noon against Cissel-Saxon Post 41 from Montgomery County. Wingerd was 6-2 with a 2.56 earned run average this season.

T.J. Hose will start Funkstown's second tournament game, with David Miner following in the rotation.

"They've been our three most of the year," Powell said. "But at some point we'll have to take a chance. We have more pitching depth this year than we've ever had. There's two or three guys outside that who can start for us."

Aaron Showe or Matt Allen will be the starting catcher, while the other will start at third base. Josh Carter will play first base, with Danny Fowler at second, Brandon Fisher at shortstop, Matt Hess in left field, Matt Johnson in center and Miner in right. Gerry Spessard will be the designated hitter.

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